As a vegan, you probably feel a little left out on the 4th of July. After all, your friends and family likely grill hamburgers, hot dogs, and many other things you do not eat. But guess what? We have some great 4th of July vegan recipes that will make even your meat-eating friends envious.
If you want to host a picnic but don’t know what to serve, check out these 4th of July vegan recipes.
But first, let’s learn how grilling meat in the backyard became synonymous with Independence Day.
Why People Grill out on the 4th of July
It seems odd, doesn’t it? That people would fire up their backyard grills as a way to celebrate our country’s independence? But they do — en masse. According to the Hearth, Patio, Barbecue Association, 71 percent of Americans barbecue in their backyards on the 4th of July.
And in general, the people at all these backyard barbecues are eating meat. Lots of it. In fact, the National Barbecue Poll shows that these are the top four things people like to eat:
- Hamburgers (33 percent)
- Steak (29 percent)
- Poultry (14 percent)
- Hot dogs (7 percent)
However, for we vegans, that just doesn’t fly.
Yet is it really possible to make delicious 4th of July vegan recipes for grilling outdoors?
A little history
The idea of “grilling out” made its first appearance in the early 1800s. Colonists in the state of Virginia frequently got together to smoke animals over a pit. The tradition came from the West Indies. Grilling out continued to spread across the nation as nineteenth-century politicians staged rallies to celebrate Independence Day, even though it wasn’t officially a national holiday. These rallies drew huge crowds.
Did anyone serve up carrot dogs?
No, but we’ll get to that in a minute.
This practice continued until the 20th Century when people started migrating to the suburbs. Magazines began telling people to host their own backyard barbecues. And that coincided with a newfangled gadget called a charcoal grill.
Fast forward to today.
While it’s true that most people still grill meat on Independence Day, vegans across the country also participate in the event by making our own 4th of July vegan recipes.
How to Prepare Your Grill for 4th of July Vegan Recipes
Before you can start making all those fabulous 4th of July vegan recipes, you need to prepare your grill for the event.
Yep — you will grill most of the 4th of July vegan recipes we have!
Here is the five-step plan to get your grill ready for all that vegan goodness.
1. Do a once over
Your first step is to take a good look at your grill and make sure it’s in good enough condition to use. Check to see that the legs aren’t wobbly, and if they are, secure them with a new screw. Also, make sure your grill is clean and rust-free. If it isn’t, use a wire brush to clean the cooking surface before you begin grilling your 4th of July vegan recipes.
You can use a good pair of waterproof gloves if the grill is a sticky mess.
2. Make wise choices
It’s tempting to try and use the fastest thing you can to get the fire started, but for a successful vegan barbecue, you should play it safe. For instance, if you’re using a charcoal grill, don’t use starter fluids such as kerosene or gasoline. Instead, use a metal chimney that is specifically designed to light charcoal or wood chunks.
3. Have enough
Is there anything worse than cooking 4th of July vegan recipes, only to run out before everyone’s had their fill? And it’s worse when it’s because you don’t have enough charcoal briquettes to fire up a round of seconds.
Don’t let this happen!
Instead, make sure you have enough cooking wood or charcoal, propane, or whatever else you need to make plenty of those 4th of July vegan recipes.
4. Un-stick it
Don’t let your vegan burgers or portabella mushrooms stick to the grill. That only makes for a frustrated cook and unhappy guests. To prevent it, spray your grill with non-stick spray before you begin cooking. And if you make more than one round of food, spray the grill before you start each one.
5. Make it easy
While cooking 4th of July recipes is fun, cleaning up is a different story. You can make it more enjoyable by using a simple grilling trick. If you’re using a charcoal grill, line the bowl of it with aluminum foil before you begin cooking. Then, after everyone has gobbled up your 4th of July recipes, you can simply remove the foil and used charcoal at once and toss it in the garbage.
You can also use aluminum foil to clean your grill for next time! Here’s a video showing you how:
4th of July Vegan Recipes for a Delicious Cookout
Now that you’ve ensured your grilling equipment is safe and workable, and you’ve prepared the grill, it’s time to get cooking those fabulous 4th of July vegan recipes.
We’ve broken down the following recipes in categories: appetizers, salads, entrees, and desserts. You’ll find all you need to make the perfect 4th of July vegan recipes for your friends and family.
4th of July Vegan recipes: Appetizers
You want to start out your cookout with a bang, so try one of these recipes to wow your guests.
Garlic dill sunflower dip
You probably love hummus, but this is a special occasion, so let’s pull out all the stops and put a twist on your regular hummus recipe. This 4th of July vegan recipe comes from The Minimalist Baker, someone you can trust when it comes to vegan recipes.
Here’s how to make it.
- 5 cups of soaked, raw sunflower seeds
- 6 peeled and minced garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup of tahini
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 1/2 cup of water to thin if necessary
- 1/2 cup of chopped, fresh dill
Start by soaking the sunflower seeds in water for a minimum of two hours, or ideally, overnight. Don’t soak them for longer than 24 hours. Then, rinse and drain the seeds. Place them in a food processor or blender if you prefer your dip to be creamier. (Keep in mind that the sunflower seeds will keep it from becoming super creamy.)
Add the sea salt, garlic, and lemon juice and mix for 30 seconds. Add the tahini and mix for another minute. As you’re mixing, add in the olive oil. If the dip is too thick, add water until it’s a perfect consistency.
Now, pulse in the fresh dill. Taste the dip and adjust the seasonings if required.
All that’s left is to serve it to your guests and the first 4th of July vegan recipe of the day is complete!
Sticky peanut cauliflower “wings”
If you want to really spice things up, try this recipe. It’s gooey, delicious, and your guests will keep coming back for more
Here’s how to make this one-of-a-kind 4th of July vegan recipe.
- 1 medium cauliflower
- 1 tablespoon of crunchy peanut butter
- 2 teaspoons of solid coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon of vegan soy sauce or tamari
- The juice of 1/2 a lime (keep the juice of the other half to use when serving)
- 1 teaspoon of garam masala
Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees F. Then, chop the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces. Place them in a baking dish with the remaining ingredients. Be sure to coat all of the cauliflower with the other ingredients. Spread the entire mixture evenly in the dish.
Cover the dish with aluminum foil and place it on the top rack of the oven for 15 minutes. Keep it in the oven longer if you used a large head of cauliflower. Now, remove the foil, and bake uncovered for another 10 minutes until it crisps.
Squeeze the remaining lime juice over it and season with black pepper. Serve immediately to make your guests happy!
4th of July Vegan recipes: Salads
You can’t have a barbecue without some 4th of July vegan recipes that include salads.
That would just be wrong.
So, we’ve included two yummy recipes to serve your guests.
Summer tomato and cantaloupe salad
If you’re looking for a light and refreshing 4th of July vegan recipes, look no further. This summer salad serves up the two of the most beloved summer foods: tomatoes and cantaloupe.
Here’s how to make it.
For the veggies:
- 1/2 cup of thinly-sliced cucumber
- 1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes, sliced thinly
- 1/4 cup of thinly sliced red onion
- 1 tablespoon of avocado oil or olive oil
- 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
- 1 pinch of sea salt
- 1 pinch of black pepper
For the dressing:
- 3 tablespoons of lime juice
- 1 tablespoon of avocado oil or olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of maple syrup
- A pinch of sea salt
For the cantaloupe:
- 1 cantaloupe (or 3 heaping cups of cubed or scooped cantaloupe)
- 2 tablespoons of fresh mint
In a small mixing bowl, add the tomato, onion, and cucumber. Top it with the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper. Mix well. Adjust the flavor if necessary. Place the bowl in the refrigerator until it’s chilled.
Now, make the dressing by mixing the lime juice, salt, and maple syrup to another bowl. Stream in the olive oil. Taste and adjust.
Next, add the cantaloupe to a large serving bowl and pour the dressing over it. Toss it to combine. Then add the tomato mixture on top. Don’t add the excess liquid from that bowl.
Serve to your guests and watch them smile!
4th of July Vegan recipes: Entrees
Now it’s time for the entrees, and here’s where you get to fire up your grill for these awesome 4th of July vegan recipes. By the time your party is over, your guests will have to concede that vegans can make use of a grill as well as any meat eater!
Vegan carrot dogs
You don’t have to eat meat to enjoy a hearty hot dog. In fact, carrots make the perfect meat substitute as you’ll see in this recipe.
Here’s how to amaze your friends with this 4th of July vegan recipe for carrot dogs.
- 1 cup of vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of vegan soy sauce, tamari, or Bragg’s
- 1/2 teaspoon of liquid smoke
- 1 tablespoon of paprika
- 2 teaspoons of mustard powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 8 medium carrots, peeled with ends trimmed
- 8 hot dog buns
- Toppings such as raw onions, relish, mustard, or ketchup
Place the vegetable broth, the vinegars, soy sauce, spices, and liquid smoke in a medium saucepan. Bring it to a simmer and cook it for about five minutes. Once it’s cooked, place it in a long container and add the raw carrots. Let them soak in it for at least 30 minutes.
Heat your grill. Either place the carrots directly on the grill or in aluminum foil, depending on whether you want them slightly charred or just soft. Brush on the oil if they’re on the grill. If you’re cooking them in foil, add some oil to the package. Once you can stick a fork in the carrots, they’re ready to serve.
Place them in a bun and cover with the toppings of your choice.
Mediterranean grilled avocado stuffed with chickpeas and tahini
Is your mouth watering just from reading the name of this 4th of July vegan recipe? It should be! If you want a light meal that still fills you up, this recipe is the way to go.
Keep in mind that this recipe only makes four servings, so you will probably need to double, triple, or quadruple it!
You make it like this:
- 1 can of chickpeas, drained
- Nonstick spray
- 1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika
- 2 large avocados
- 1/2 cup of diced cucumber
- 1/2 cup of quartered cherry tomatoes
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, plus for more serving
- 2 teaspoons of tahini
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
Start off by preheating your grill to medium/ high heat. After rinsing and drying your chickpeas, spray with the nonstick oil and toss with smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Then place them on a flat grilling pan and grill for about 10 minutes. Spray them again and cook for another 10 to 12 minutes until they are lightly charred and crisp. Let them cool.
Now, cut the avocados in half and remove the pit. Make a deep hole in each side by removing some of the centers. Spray them with the nonstick oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put them flesh side down on the grill and cook about 5 minutes or until grill marks appear on them.
While those are cooking, use a small bowl to mix the tomatoes, cucumber, lemon juice, and more salt and pepper. Next, place some of the mixture into the center of each avocado. Then top with a tablespoon of chickpeas and a drizzle of tahini.
Garnish the avocados with cilantro and serve!
At this point, your guests are wowed, but you can’t leave them without dessert! Here are some 4th of July vegan recipes that will ensure your guests leave on a great note.
4th of July Vegan recipes: Dessert
July is hot and sticky, and that’s why the deserts for your cookout should cool down your guests. Here are two great options.
Firecracker fruit pops
End your cookout with a bang by serving these cool and delicious fruit pops. It’s one of my favorite 4th of July vegan recipes for a cookout! This recipe makes about six fruit pops.
- A single package of strawberries, washed with greens cut off
- A single package of blueberries washed
- 1 cup of shredded coconut
- 3 cups of Silk Almond/Coconut blend
Place the strawberries and a cup of Silk in a blender and blend until you have a chunky mixture. Pour the mixture into your Popsicle molds, taking up about a third of each one. Stick those in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes.
In the meantime, add the blueberries to 1 cup of Silk and mix. Set it aside. Next, combine the coconut and another cup of Silk in a bowl and mix it together.
Once your strawberry mixture is semi-frozen, add the coconut layer and put the molds back into the freezer for about 20 minutes.
Next, push in your Popsicle sticks and pour the blueberry mixture into top off the molds. Put them back in the freezer for about 20 minutes.
After that, they’re ready to serve!
Mixed berry and whipped coconut cream pie
If you want an easy, no-bake dessert for your 4th of July vegan recipe selection, look no further. This pie will impress your guests, but it won’t take a lot of work to make.
Here’s how to do it.
For the crust:
- 1 1/2 cups of walnuts
- 1 1/2 cups of pitted dates, roughly chopped
For the whipped coconut cream
- 14-ounce can of full-fat coconut milk that has been refrigerated overnight
- 1 tablespoon of maple syrup
For the topping:
- 1 cup each of sliced strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries
Place the nuts in a food processor and pulse them into a coarse meal. Add the chopped dates and blend until form into a dough. You’ll know it’s right when you squeeze it and it sticks together. Press it into a 9-inch loose base tart tin. Put it in the freezer while you prepare the filling.
Take the coconut cream out of the fridge and scoop out the solid cream, leaving the water behind. Place it in a cold glass container. Beat the cream on medium to high speed for a couple of minutes or until it is airy and whipped. You can add sweetener and mix it in if you wish.
Spread the cream over the crust. Scatter the berries on top of that. If you want to get fancy, use the berries to make an American flag! Keep the pie in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it.
Here are a few more ideas you can use to mix things up:
4th of July Vegan Recipes for Everyone!
Are you motivated to throw the best ever vegan 4th of July party in your backyard? Who says you have to grill meat to have a delicious and satisfying 4th of July meal? Throw some veggies on the grill while wearing some vegan-proud clothes and have a great day!
Have you ever thrown a vegan barbecue in your backyard? If so, we would love to hear about it in the comments below!